The Legislature met Thursday to consider six vetoes Gov. Chris Sununu made on bills passed by the House and Senate earlier this year. Under the N.H. Constitution, the governor can prevent any legislatively approved bill from becoming law by vetoing it, but the Legislature can override the veto if two-thirds of the members present and voting on that bill vote to do so.

Abolition of death penalty

Senate Bill 593, "relative to the penalty for capital murder," was introduced by a bipartisan group of legislators, including Sens. David Watters, D-Dover; and Martha Fuller Clark, D-Portsmouth, and Rep. Renny Cushing, D-Hampton. The bill changes the penalty for capital murder to life imprisonment without the possibility for parole.

The legislation was introduced in February and received Senate approval in March on a vote of 14 to 10. In April, the House agreed, 223 to 116.

Gov. Sununu vetoed the bill in June and said, "While I respect the arguments made by proponents of SB 593, I stand with crime victims, members of the law enforcement community, and advocates for justice in opposing this bill. While opponents of the death penalty cite cases from other states where individuals were either wrongfully convicted or did not receive an adequate defense, such cases have not occurred in this state."

The Senate voted 14 to 10 on the motion to override the veto, two shy of the required 16 votes, so his veto stands. Supporting overriding the governor's veto were Sens. Watters, John Reagan, R-Deerfield; and Fuller Clark. Opposed were Sens. Jeb Bradley, R-Wolfeboro; James Gray, R-Rochester; William Gannon, R-Sandown; and Daniel Innis, R-New Castle. The vote was identical to that taken earlier this year, so despite months of discussion, no votes changed.

The last time a bill to abolish the death penalty was vetoed by the governor was in 2000, when Gov. Jeanne Shaheen vetoed House Bill 1548. The House failed to override, 194 to 148. That year, the Senate had voted 14 to 10 on the bill.

Energy bills

Sununu vetoed two energy-related bills. SB 365, "relative to the use of renewable generation to provide fuel diversity," was sponsored by Sens. Bradley and Fuller Clark. It requires electric distribution companies subject to the Public Utilities Commission's approval regarding procurement of default service to offer to purchase the net energy output of eligible biomass and waste-to-energy facilities located in the service territory. It was introduced in January and vetoed in June. It received approval in the House 225 to 108, and in June the Senate agreed.

SB 446, "relative to net energy metering limits for customer-generators," was introduced in January and approved by the House and Senate in May. It was vetoed by Sununu in June. The bill increases the electric generating capacity of customer generators who may participate in net energy metering and modifies the transition of tariffs applicable to certain customer-generators.

Addressing both bills, Sununu said, "We need to be taking steps to lower electric rates, not passing legislation that would cause massive increases. We should take the time necessary to study the effects of the recent Public Utilities Commission order on net metering before massively increasing the scale of projects that rely on ratepayer subsidies."

SB 365

The Senate overrode Sununu's veto 21 to 3, with Bradley, Watters, Gray, Fuller Clark, Gannon and Innis in favor, while Reagan supported the veto.

The House then voted 226 to 113 to override the veto, attaining the necessary two-thirds vote precisely. "Yes" supported the legislation and was a vote to override the governor, "no" opposed the bill and supported the veto:

Portsmouth Herald area legislators

Yes: Patrick Abrami, R-Stratham; Debra Altschiller, D-Stratham; Skip Berrien, D-Exeter; Michael Cahill, D-Newmarket; Jacqueline Cali-Pitts, D-Portsmouth; Charlotte DiLorenzo, D-Newmarket; Mike Edgar, D-Hampton; Betsey Farnham, D-Exeter; Paula Francese, D-Exeter; Julie Gilman, D-Exeter; Richard Gordon, R-East Kingston; Tamara Le, D-North Hampton; Patricia Lovejoy, D-Stratham; Dennis Malloy, D-Greenland; Henry Marsh, R-North Hampton; Rebecca McBeath, D-Portsmouth; Kate Murray, D-New Castle; Robert Nigrello, R-East Kingston; Laura Pantelakos, D-Portsmouth; Ellen Read, D-Newmarket; Peter Somssich, D-Portsmouth; Gerald Ward, D-Portsmouth

No: Francis Chase, R-Seabrook; Renny Cushing, D-Hampton; J. Tracy Emerick, R-Hampton; Jason Janvrin, R-Seabrook; Aboul Khan, R-Seabrook; Mindi Messmer, D-Rye

Not voting: Philip Bean, R-Hampton, excused; Rio Tilton, R-Seabrook, not excused

Foster's Daily Democrat area legislators

Yes: Lino Avellani, R-Sanbornville; Peter Bixby, D-Dover; Wayne Burton, D-Durham; Jacalyn Cilley, D-Barrington; Casey Conley, D-Dover; Allen Cook, R-Brentwood; Donna Ellis, D-Rochester; Timothy Fontneau, D-Rochester; Sherry Frost, D-Dover; Amanda Gourgue, D-Lee; Chuck Grassie, D-Rochester; Timothy Horrigan, D-Durham; Raymond Howard, R-Alton; Sandra Keans, D-Rochester; Hamilton Krans, D-Dover; William Marsh, R-Wolfeboro; Jody McNally, R-Rochester; John Mullen, R-Middleton; Bill Nelson, R-Brookfield; Linn Opderbecke, D-Dover; Jeffrey Salloway, D-Lee; Catt Sandler, D-Dover; Peter Schmidt, D-Dover; Matthew Scruton, R-Rochester; Marjorie Smith, D-Durham; Thomas Southworth, D-Dover; Judith Spang, D-Durham; Dale Sprague, D-Somersworth; Susan Treleaven, D-Dover; Peter Varney, R-Alton; Kenneth Vincent, D-Somersworth; Janet Wall, D-Madbury; Steven Woitkun, R-Danville

No: Steven Beaudoin, R-Rochester; Roger Berube, D-Somersworth; Ed Comeau, R-Brookfield; Michael Harrington, R-Strafford; James Horgan, R-Farmington; Thomas Kaczynski, R-Rochester; Brandon Phinney, L-Rochester; Joseph Pitre, R-Farmington; Matthew Spencer, R-Somersworth; Brian Stone, R-Northwood; Leonard Turcotte, R-Barrington; Scott Wallace, R-Danville; Kurt Wuelper, R-Strafford

Not voting: Robert Graham, R-Milton, excused

Seventy-six Republicans and 150 Democrats voted to override the veto and pass the bill, while two Libertarians and five Democrats joined 106 Republicans supporting the veto.

SB 446

The Senate overrode the veto 21 to 3. Supporting override were Bradley, Watters, Gray, Fuller Clark, Gannon and Innis. Reagan supported the governor's veto.

The House then voted 213 to 128 to override, but that fell short of the necessary two-thirds required, which would have been 228. "Yes" favored overriding the veto so the bill would become law, "no" opposed overriding, and supported the governor's veto:

Herald area legislators

Yes: Abrami, Altschiller, Berrien, Cahill, Cali-Pitts, Cushing, DiLorenzo, Edgar, Farnham, Francese, Gilman, Gordon, Le, Lovejoy, Malloy, McBeath, Messmer, Murray, Nigrello, Pantelakos, Somssich, Ward

No: Chase, Emerick, Janvrin, Khan, Henry Marsh,

Not voting: Bean, excused; Read, Tilton, not excused

Foster's area legislators

Yes: Avellani, Berube, Bixby, Burton, Cilley, Conley, Cook, Ellis, Fontneau, Frost, Gourgue, Grassie, Horrigan, Keans, Krans, William Marsh, Mullen, Nelson, Opderbecke, Salloway, Sandler, Schmidt, Scruton, Smith, Southworth, Spang, Sprague, Treleaven, Vincent, Wall

No: Beaudoin, Comeau, Harrington, Horgan, Howard, Kaczynski, McNally, Phinney, Pitre, Spencer, Turcotte, Varney, Wallace, Woitkun, Wuelper

Not voting: Graham, excused; Stone, not excused

Fifty-nine Republicans joined 154 Democrats in overriding the governor's veto, while two Libertarians and 126 Republicans supported the veto.

Parole Board

House Bill 143, "relative to recommittal of a prisoner by the Parole Board," was introduced in December 2017 and the House and Senate approved a final version in March. Sununu vetoed it in May and said, "While based on good intentions, this bill will have concerning consequences. I fully support efforts to reduce recidivism among those suffering from substance abuse disorders by ensuring that such individuals have access to treatment. However, current law already gives the Parole Board the option of imposing shorter recommittal periods if they determine it will aid in the parolee’s rehabilitation."

The House voted 255 to 89 in favor of overriding the governor's veto. "Yes" supported the motion to pass the legislation over the governor's objection. "No" supported the governor's veto:

Herald area legislators

Yes: Abrami, Altschiller, Berrien, Cahill, Cali-Pitts, Cushing, DiLorenzo, Edgar, Farnham, Francese, Gilman, Gordon, Janvrin, Khan, Le, Lovejoy, Malloy, Henry Marsh, McBeath, Messmer, Murray, Nigrello, Pantelakos, Read, Somssich, Ward

No: Chase, Emerick

Not voting: Bean, excused; Tilton, not excused

Foster's area legislators

Yes: Berube, Bixby, Burton, Cilley, Conley, Cook, Ellis, Fontneau, Frost, Gourgue, Grassie, Harrington, Horrigan, Keans, Krans, McNally, Mullen, Nelson, Opderbecke, Phinney, Salloway, Sandler, Schmidt, Scruton, Smith, Southworth, Spang, Spencer, Sprague, Stone, Treleaven, Turcotte, Vincent, Wall, Wallace

No: Avellani, Beaudoin, Comeau, Horgan, Howard, Kaczynski, William Marsh, Pitre, Varney, Woitkun, Wuelper

Not voting: Graham, excused

Ninety-eight Republicans and two Libertarians joined 155 Democrats in overriding the veto, while all of the 89 votes supporting the veto were cast by Republicans.

The Senate then voted 23 to 1 in favor of overriding the veto. Bradley, Watters, Gray, Reagan, Fuller Clark, Gannon and Innis supported the override motion, so the bill becomes law.

Autonomous vehicle testing

HB 314, "relative to licensing requirements for autonomous vehicle testing and establishing an automated and connected vehicle testing and deployment commission," was introduced in January of last year and was sent to a series of meetings during the past year to consider it. The Senate voted 17 to 6 approving it in May, and the House agreed. Gov. Sununu vetoed it in July, and said, "While well-intentioned, House Bill 314 fails to address a number of issues related to automated vehicle technology. In addition, there are no clear definitions as to what is and is not an 'autonomous vehicle,' creating loopholes, which may compromise the safety of drivers in this state."

The House voted 279 to 66 in favor of overriding the governor's veto. "Yes" supported passing the bill over the governor's objections, "no" supported the veto:

Herald area legislators

Yes: Abrami, Altschiller, Berrien, Cahill, Cali-Pitts, Cushing, DiLorenzo, Edgar, Farnham, Francese, Gilman, Gordon, Janvrin, Khan, Le, Lovejoy, Malloy, Henry Marsh, McBeath, Messmer, Murray, Nigrello, Pantelakos, Read, Somssich, Ward

No: Chase, Emerick

Not voting: Bean, excused; Tilton, not excused

Foster's area legislators

Yes: Berube, Bixby, Burton, Cilley, Conley, Cook, Ellis, Fontneau, Frost, Gourgue, Grassie, Horgan, Horrigan, Kaczynski, Keans, Krans, William Marsh, McNally, Mullen, Nelson, Opderbecke, Salloway, Sandler, Schmidt, Scruton, Smith, Southworth, Spang, Spencer, Sprague, Stone, Treleaven, Turcotte, Vincent, Wall, Wuelper

No: Avellani, Beaudoin, Comeau, Harrington, Howard, Phinney, Pitre, Varney, Wallace, Woitkun

Not voting: Graham, excused

Two Libertarians and 64 Republicans supported the governor's veto, while 125 Republicans joined 154 Democrats in approving the bill over the veto.

The Senate disagreed with the House and voted 19 to 5 to support the governor's veto. Bradley, Watters, Gray, Reagan, Gannon and Innis voted against the motion to override the veto, while Fuller Clark supported the override motion.

Dam maintenance fund

HB 1736, "relative to increasing the threshold required for governor and council approval of expenditures from the dam maintenance fund," was sponsored by Rep. John Mullen, R-Middleton. It increases the threshold required for Governor and Executive Council approval of expenditures from the dam maintenance fund. It was introduced in January, and approved by the legislature in April. It was vetoed by Sununu in May. He said, "Under current law, governor and council approval is required for all expenditures from the dam maintenance fund that are made for repair projects. House Bill 1736 would amend the definition of repair so that it only includes work with a cost in excess of $150,000, thus increasing the threshold for governor and council approval from $75,000 to $150,000. New Hampshire's proud tradition of careful fiscal management counsels against reducing popularly elected officials’ oversight of expenditures of taxpayer dollars absent a compelling justification."

The House voted 266 to 79 to override the veto. "Yes" supported passing the bill despite the veto, while "no" supported the veto:

Herald area legislators

Yes: Abrami, Altschiller, Berrien, Cahill, Cali-Pitts, Cushing, DiLorenzo, Edgar, Emerick, Farnham, Francese, Gilman, Gordon, Janvrin, Khan, Le, Lovejoy, Malloy, McBeath, Messmer, Murray, Nigrello, Pantelakos, Read, Somssich, Ward

No: Chase, Henry Marsh

Not voting: Bean, excused; Tilton, not excused

Foster's area legislators

Yes: Berube, Bixby, Burton, Cilley, Conley, Cook, Ellis, Fontneau, Frost, Gourgue, Grassie, Harrington, Horrigan, Howard, Kaczynski, Keans, Krans, William Marsh, McNally, Mullen, Nelson, Opderbecke, Pitre, Salloway, Sandler, Schmidt, Scruton, Smith, Southworth, Spang, Spencer, Sprague, Treleaven, Vincent, Wall, Woitkun

No: Avellani, Beaudoin, Comeau, Horgan, Phinney, Stone, Turcotte, Varney, Wallace, Wuelper

Not voting: Graham, excused

Two Libertarians and 77 Republicans supported the veto, while 110 Republicans joined 156 Democrats in overriding the veto.

The Senate disagreed with the House and did not override the veto. It voted 12 to 12, with Watters, Reagan and Fuller Clark supporting override and Sens. Bradley, Gray, Gannon and Innis opposed to the override motion. The legislation dies.

For more information about any of these bills, or about contacting any legislator, visit NH.gov.